Our History

Did you know that Headwaters Arts roots began 26 years ago?!

In 1996 a committee was formed which included individuals from the Hills of Headwaters Tourism Association, and a group of dedicated artists/volunteers who came together to organize the very first Headwaters Arts Festival (HAF) which showcased 40+ arts events over a two-week period.

HAF, led by a board of directors, continued to grow sponsorships, build strong partnerships with artists, local businesses, Headwaters Tourism Association and its popular regional magazine, In the Hills. HAF had become a public
showcase of the region’s artistic diversity.

The need to bring in more artist members, explore different structural/financial models, engage new volunteers resulted in a several strategic planning sessions which resulted in a plan for the future, hence, in 2008, Headwaters Arts was born.

Headwaters Arts (formerly named Headwaters Arts Festival) is a not-for profit, volunteer based
organization operating in an artist-run, 810 sq. ft Headwaters Arts Gallery, year round, in the Alton Mill Arts Centre located in the Village of Alton, in Caledon, Ontario.

Headwaters Arts has been in a proud partnership with the Alton Mill Development Inc. for 17 years as a signing partner in the Rural Economic Development Program funding to establish what is now the Alton Mill Arts Centre.

Located less than one hour from Toronto, the Alton Mill is home to some 25 studio artists galleries, heritage museum,   and unique shops. Built on the banks of Shaw’s Creek, this national-award-winning heritage building is now “a jewel in the crown of the GTA’s arts scene“. We are proud to call it our home!

pic of Headwaters Arts Board members

Headwaters Arts gratefully acknowledges the support of our  Funders and many  Supporters

Town of Caledon
Central Counties Tourism
Dufferin Country
Bryans Fuel
James Dick Construction

We acknowledge that the land on which we gather, and on which the Region of Peel operates, is part of the Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. For thousands of years, Indigenous peoples inhabited and cared for this land. In particular we acknowledge the territory of the Ani-shinabek, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Ojibway/Chippewa peoples; the land that is home to the Metis; and most recently, the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation who are direct descendants of the Mississaugas of the Credit.

We are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land, and by doing so, give our respect to its first inhabitants.